Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Day 20, Tuesday May 31st, 2016

Our travel day back home. This would be a long one...about 26 hours of travel. But, we started by saying goodbye to our great hosts, Keith and Natalie. Yes, Keith was separated at birth from Micheal Cera. Except he's from Newcastle.

Our flights were Barcelona–Frankfurt–Toronto–Edmonton. At least we had some nice lounges along the way.

And some good flights.

Who is that peeking around the corner?

Waiting by the gate in Toronto, very late at night.

And picking up our bags in Edmonton.

Happily, all the wine and olive oil made it back intact. This stuff will rest in the cellar for a few years...then it will be drinking time!

A very fun trip has come to an end. Where to next? And when?

Day 19, Monday May 30th, 2016

The day started with along country walk after breakfast. Spent two hours traveling over the nearest mountain and into the next town and back. No Fluffy to guide us this time!

Then we drove into Sitges again, this time to get a swim in the Med. But first, a full length walk of the boardwalk, checked out the nude beaches, and then lunch.

Absolutely fantastic day. But the water turned out to be very, very cold. No real swimming. After a beach shower we grabbed a cold drink and an ice cream, then headed back to the car for the short trip to Els Samadors.

Spent the afternoon by the pool and then a final nice dinner.

So good. Els Samadors was the best place to end our vacation.

Day 18, Sunday May 29th, 2016

We went down to Sitges this morning, and it was busy. Not only was it a Sunday, but there was a flower festival on as well. The boardwalk and the town streets were packed.

But the weather was perfect.

Kimberley on the Mediterranean. A good day, because she found a pair of new shoes to buy.

The cathedral at Sitges. We had a really nice lunch on the boardwalk.

We spent the afternoon back at the pool at Sumadors. That led to a late dinner delicious garlic soup and plenty more wine.

Day 17, Saturday May 28th, 2016

Packed up after another nice breakfast and travelled an hour north along the coast to our final stop, Els Samadors. We wanted to arrive early early because this B&B had been changing ownership a few times since we started planning our trip and we never got a firm confirmation about our intended stay. If the place was closed, or the newest owners were not expecting us, then at least we'd have the balance of the day to look for another place to stay.

Turned out to not be necessary. Els Samadors was the perfect end to the vacation.

The house was 400 years old, and gorgeous.

The new owners, Keith and Natalie, were a couple of Brits who only had possession of the property for 5 weeks before we got there.

Nice private room and perfect weather.

And a pool overlooking the countryside.

Gorgeous. We spent the balance of the day hanging out at the pool.

Keith put together a nice menu, so we enjoyed some BBQ on our first evening (and every one following). We started with a smoked mozzarella and tomato appetizer, then had BBQ chicken and a couple of bottles of red Priorat.

The drinking went into the evening. And a crazy Russian mofo was staying at the B&B as well...what a joker. And he would not stop talking.

Day 16, Friday May 27th, 2016

This was wine tour day. Rachel Richie picked us up in the morning and drove the 45 minutes up to Priorat. The time was not wasted...got a lesson on the Spanish Civil War during the drive. Rachel used to be a battlefield guide, and currently works as a translator and tour guide.

We started in Clos Mogador, the first of the new wineries in Priorat started in the 70s. We toured with Katia, a German woman, who showed us how different wineries set up their vineyards.

Clos Mogador is organic, and does not clear away any of the wild flowers or thatch around the vines. We toured Mogador with a British couple from Brazil.

Pretty countryside.

Terraced hillsides.

This is a one hundred year old Granacha vine.

A view of the wine cellar at Clos Mogador.

Next, we were off to Clos Figueras in Gratallops, which is not only a winery, but a restaurant and B&B. Very pretty place.

The casks are kept down in an old water cistern.

Great lunch here. Salad with figs and hazelnuts.

 We also visited a hermitage up in the mountains.

Pretty view from up here.

Priorat was spread out before us.

Next we drove up to the northern edge of Priorat and visited Scala Dei.

Beautiful wine cellars here.

Our host was the soft-spoken Yuri. Really nice guy who showed us around and had us taste some delicious wine.

The Scala Dei private cellar.

Lots of old bottles, spider webs and dust.

Casks from many years ago. We wound up buying wine from each place we visited.

A friend of Rachel's ran an olive oil store next to Scala Dei. We stopped there next and picked up some oil and honey. On the way back, we stopped at the wine store in Falset and picked up a wine suitcase for the trip back to Canada.

Back at Mas Mariassa, we had a great salmon dinner.

Day 15, Thursday May 26th, 2016

A big cross-country walking day. Started with a nice breakfast downstairs, and then off into the countryside. 

Fluffy was a trooper, who stayed with us through the whole three hour walk.

We saw some cool and interesting stuff. No idea what this was.

Happy day, even though we lost our trail.

Thank God for Maps and Map My Walk.

We even found Oncle Grunchy in the woods.

On the way back, Fluffy (Machina) took us to the Pradip town fountain for a cool off. Back at the B&B it was time for some R&R.

Mas Mariassa is a really nice place.

And they had a nice cat too.

Another late dinner downstairs and then off to bed.